The Legend of Zelda video game was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife.
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The Legend of Zelda video game was named for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife.

Video games aren’t often associated with literary figures, but The Legend of Zelda has always been unique. Take, for instance, the fact that its title character was named after writer, artist, and Jazz Age icon Zelda Fitzgerald, whose marriage to The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald generated nearly as many headlines as his professional output. Zelda, who’s been described as the first flapper of the Roaring '20s (and the inspiration for Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan), was chosen because a Nintendo PR rep suggested that the eponymous princess should be “a timeless beauty with classic appeal” and that Zelda Fitzgerald was one such “eternal beauty.” 

Zelda’s protagonist was inspired by Peter Pan.
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Incorrect.
It's a Fact
Despite being its namesake, Princess Zelda isn’t the character you play as in these games — that would be Link, whose green attire and pointy hat were inspired by Peter Pan. Shigeru Miyamoto wanted its hero to be instantly recognizable, and the boy who never grew up fit the bill.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the game’s creator, agreed: “She was a famous and beautiful woman from all accounts, and I liked the sound of her name,” he has said. The name chain didn’t end there; actor Robin Williams was such a fan of the series that he named his daughter after the Princess of Hyrule. As for Zelda F. herself, she was — rather fittingly — named for the fictional heroine of a 19th-century novel.

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Numbers Don’t Lie
Games in the main Zelda franchise
19
Short stories written by F. Scott Fitzgerald
164
Copies sold of Breath of the Wild, the most of any Zelda game
25.8 million
Value of the last royalty check Fitzgerald ever received
$13.13
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final, unfinished novel was called “_______.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final, unfinished novel was called “The Love of the Last Tycoon.”
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Think Twice
F. Scott Fitzgerald was a terrible speller.

If you don’t think it’s possible for a bad speller to be a good writer, one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed authors might prove you wrong. Fitzgerald was both a poor student and an abominable speller, with some suggesting he may have been dyslexic. Upon reading a typo-laden version of Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, literary critic Edmund Wilson (who was also a classmate of the author at Princeton) deemed it “one of the most illiterate books of any merit ever published … full of English words misused with the most reckless abandon.” Fitzgerald, who was friends with Ernest Hemingway, even misspelled his fellow writer’s first name as “Earnest” in letters. 

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